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The Semi-Circle

   English Language Theatre in Basel since 1975
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Spring Production 1998 - "Between Mouthfuls" by Alan Ayckbourn, "Albert" by Richard Harris, "Joining the Club" by David Tristram

Production Manager: Ann Maerki

Venue: Schönes Haus, Nadelberg, Basel

March 1998

Joining the Club by David Tristram
Directed by Diana Zuger

Jenny     -     Rebecca Scriven

Tom     -     Peter Williams

The scene: Jenny and Tom's home, one evening after work

Jenny and Tom are a modern couple seemingly unencumbered by old-fashioned notions of division of labour. She is the main bread-winner - and a lucky thing, too, because Tom, frustrated about having been passed over for an important promotion, has just quit his job. He plans to tell her tonight. On the very night that Jenny has some very special tidings for him as well.

Albert by Richard Harris

Directed by Sheila McKenzie

Karin Rust   -   Katie Coop

Nico Bellini   -   Tony O'Sullivan

Albert Burroughs   -   Eric Collino

The scene: A private home, where Karin is working as an au pair.

If you find you are having trouble catching the drift of things here, your are in good company. Karin, Nico and Albert are not faring much better. This is a weirdly funny play. A play with no dialogue. Talking yes, dialogue no. The players, a Finn, an Italian and an Englisman, share no common language, and therefore can establish no meaningful "give-and-take" in conversation. Words are batted back and forth without triggering any real comprehension. The characters resort to hilarious gesticulations, and so great is their desire to communicate, they delude themselves into thinking they are doing just that - a misconception with mortal consequences.

Between Mouthfuls, by Alan Ayckbourn

Directed by Angela Robinson

The Waiter     -     Dennis Dell

Donald Pearce    -    Andrew Thompson

Mrs Pearce   -    Margaret Dürrenberger-Osborne

Martin     -     Jan Haecky

Polly     -     Kathren Michaels

The scene: A hotel dining room

This play is taken from a set of five interlinked one-act plays by Alan Ayckbourn, entitled Confusions. The collection deals ". . . riotously, but with sharply pointed undertones, with human eccentricities and the human dilemma of loneliness". In Between Mouthfuls we find two pairs of diners in a restaurant at separate tables. We catch smatterings of their separate conversations as talk fades in and out of hearing range. In the process, it becomes clear to the audience that these four diners form not two but three couples. 


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